Nuclear localization activity of phytochrome B

Plant J. 1996 Nov;10(5):859-68. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-313x.1996.10050859.x.


Phytochromes are soluble red/far-red-light photoreceptor proteins which mediate various photomorphogenic responses of plants. Despite much effort, the signal transduction mechanism of phytochrome has remained obscure. Phytochromes are encoded by a small multigene family in Arabidopsis. Among the members of the family, phytochrome A (phyA) and B (phyB) are the best characterized. PhyB contains putative nuclear localization signals within its C-terminal region. Transgenic Arabidopsis plants were produced with expressed a fusion protein consisting of GUS and C-terminal fragments of phyB. GUS staining from the fusion protein in these transgenic plants was observed in the nucleus, which suggests that the nuclear localization signal of the fragment is functional. Next, it was examined whether the endogenous phyB was detected in the nucleus. Nuclei were isolated from the light-grown wild-type Arabidopsis leaves and subjected to the immunoblot analysis. The result indicated that a substantial fraction of total phyB was recovered in the isolated nuclei. This result was further confirmed by the immunocytochemical analysis of the protoplasts. Finally, the effects of light treatments on the levels of phyB in the isolated nuclei were examined. Dark adaptation of the plants before the nuclear isolation reduced the levels of phyB. The reduction was accelerated by irradiation of plants with far-red light before the transfer to darkness. Thus, nuclear localization of phyB was suggested to be light-dependent.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis
  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • Cell Nucleus / chemistry*
  • Light
  • Photoreceptor Cells*
  • Phytochrome / chemistry*
  • Phytochrome / metabolism
  • Phytochrome B
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / chemistry
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transcription Factors*


  • Arabidopsis Proteins
  • PHYB protein, Arabidopsis
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Transcription Factors
  • Phytochrome
  • Phytochrome B